Let's see if I can get every amazing thing down about this baby before she wakes up. Maybe I'll even have time to sort the laundry afterwards.
Emotions and social interaction:
- I feel like AJ expanded her range of emotions this month and how she expresses them. She gives baby hugs and now kisses too (she puts her mouth on us and blows a raspberry). AJ still does head bumps, which are awesome unless she head bumps your nose. Ouch.
- Giggles and belly laughs. She mostly does this at home because she needs to be very relaxed.
- Communication: Tons of babbling, vocalizations. Not sure if she knows words for things yet. She might know the word for water. Once when we were giving her a bath, she said "wah-wah" and turned the faucet on (it's the kind that you push up). We hear a lot of things that sound like words. It even sounded like she said her name the other day.
- When AJ is very happy or excited about something, she talks in a whisper voice, that sounds almost like a hiss. We call it "happy hiss." I often hear this as she's reaching for my earrings.
- AJ insists on being acknowledged and on certain social interactions. Before we leave the room we must give her a cuddle, explain what we are doing, say bye-bye and I'll be back. Or she's very offended. No more plunking her down and rushing off to do something. That's rude!
- She's more likely to get frustrated if she can't complete a task or if get what she wants: e.g. an object slips out of reach, she can't take something out of a container. Angry cry, flails arms, glares at parent. Before she would just give up and move on to the next thing. However, she still makes judgments about how important things are to her and how much she cares. The toy that's out of reach is worth some effort, but if the effort doesn't pay off quickly, perhaps the ones within reach are a better deal. She may resemble her mother in this regard ;-)
- AJ expresses definite preferences. She swats away things she doesn't like. She enjoys her baby toys a lot, but she is also interested in adult toys like phones, computers, TV remote. So it's best to keep them out of her way and be aware of how much we are playing with them, if we're not willing to share the fun.
- Plays peek-a-boo by hiding herself: pulls a blanket over her face, then pulls it away and giggles. She also played with Mr. Turtle the other day by peeking around a corner, pulling back and peeking again. That was too, too cute.
Eating and drinking:
- I offered AJ big portions of food (slice of beat, entire apricot or peach, big slice of watermelon) to encourage her to pick up food and feed herself. Large pieces seemed to be easier for her to grasp than "finger foods." After a few days she got quite adept with smaller pieces too: peach slice, squished blueberries, watermelon (a favourite) and pear slices. AJ is still hot and cold about feeding herself, however. Sometimes she will happily pick up food, bite and chew like a pro, and other times she completely ignores everything unless we spoon feed her. I think it's mostly a matter of how much she likes it. The effort she puts out is directly proportionate to how much she cares about the result.
- For several weeks AJ has liked to grab her water glass and spill the water. She enjoys having a puddle of water on her highchair table to splash in. After a few weeks she started acting like she was trying to hold and drink from the glass, however. And this week she was actually able to hold the cup and take a few sips, which was very exciting. She's still working on the technique and spills ten times as much water as she drinks, but it's so fun!
- I breastfeed about 5-6 times in 24 hours, sometimes more. I try to always offer solid food before breastfeeding now, with the exception of the last feed before she goes to sleep. It doesn't always work out as sometimes AJ is just too tired or fussy to eat solids and it's better to breastfeed first so she's relaxed. After we get back from our little trip to see my parents this month, I will try to wean her to formula during the day. Not sure how that will work out; I guess we'll see. I am not going to attempt to pump; I know I don't have it in me and pumping at school? No, just no. But I am hoping that I can continue to breastfeed early mornings, evenings and weekends, and at night if AJ insists. I know people who have done this and people who couldn't do it, so I won't know which I am until I try. The thought of stopping breastfeeding makes me sad. I haven't blogged much about breastfeeding, which is mainly because it has worked out really well and there's nothing much to say. So I hope I can continue part time.
The other end:
- Much less constipation this month, yay! Pooping doesn't seem to be too traumatic anymore. AJ did try to eat some of her poop when she was having naked time the other day. Nooooooooooo that did not just happen.
- AJ stands and holds herself up. She likes to stand on the couch and look out the window (with us spotting for her of course). I also found a plastic bin that is the perfect height for her to stand by and support herself by pushing down. She sometimes lets go and supports herself with one hand, or tries to take a step. She does not pull up yet.
- She scoots around on her bottom, although not very far. She reaches in all directions, including behind her, rotates herself, and can touch her nose to her toes. I think she will probably start crawling from this position, well assuming that she crawls at all.
- Less rolling to her belly this month. Again, I think she figured out that she didn't like rolling to her belly, so why should she bother. She still does it sometimes and I can see that she is getting stronger all the time.
- Back crawling: lifting bum off floor, pushing forward with feet. First 2 weeks of the month: she could move about a metre this way.
- Swim lessons this month. AJ actives relaxed in the pool. She never seemed unhappy or afraid. She wasn't ecstatic about it either, but was open to the experience
- AJ's pincer grip is developed. She can do some very delicate things with her fingers now. She loves to untie things. Strings and fringes are her favourites.
- Sometimes in the middle of doing something she will stop and stare at her hands, as if to say: "Wow, these are cool."
- When put down sleepy in her crib, will curl up and grab her feet (as if to make sure they don't get away)
- She starting clapping her hands a bit. But her favourite is to grab our hands and clap them.
- Varies. She can sleep six hour stretches: awesome! Other nights, she wakes 2-3 times. Usually she goes back to sleep easily but there are exceptions. I honestly don't know what makes the difference, because we have the same routines every day. We haven't ever tried to sleep train, although I will encourage AJ to put herself back to sleep and sometimes she can. I can pretty much tell by the sounds she is making if she will or not. It doesn't really bother me at present, especially since the "bad" nights are not too frequent. But I do wonder how we'll transition when I have to go back to work.
Growth and development:
- Two bottom teeth visible, on more possibly coming in on the bottom, two top teeth coming in. Hear teeth grinding sometimes. Aaaargh.
- Torso not growing as fast - AJ wore her 9 month size onesies until she was almost 9 months!! That's a first. Arms and legs grew however: I'm still astonished at how long they look. She's wearing 12 month sizes now. AJ was 17 pounds when we weighed her for her passport application.
Oh yeah, AJ has now been on the outside as long as she was on the inside. Yay! I don't know the exact number of weeks because I lost track of how many weeks she is at about 20. We are so lucky to be here. When I was pregnant I didn't dare try to imagine myself with a healthy, happy 9 month old. Newborn was as far as I could go. So not only is it better than I imagined, it's completely out of the realm of what I imagined.
I haven't organized the 9 month pictures yet, so I might add a collage later. Also running out of time here so I'll leave the post-partum update for another time.
Life is beautiful.